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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


WUD Art Committee celebrates 95th anniversary of student art gallery

Art gallery in Memorial Union features 20 artists from campus, local community
Abby Cima

The Student Art Show is celebrating its 95th exhibit this year at Memorial Union featuring the artwork of students from campus and the local community. This annual event gives artists an opportunity to showcase their work to a wide audience and gain well-deserved recognition. 

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Art Committee puts on the show to celebrate the artwork done by students on campus, in campus spaces, with themes such as mental health and desire. 

Keeley Flynn is one of the students with the art featured in the gallery. She is an art and art history major at the university and has been interested in art for as long as she can remember. 


“I took art classes as a kid and started my own projects in high school,” Flynn said. “It was the one childhood hobby I had that never really phased out.”

One of her pieces in the gallery titled “Twenty,” sends a message on self-objectification and desire. 

“I wanted to depict the confusion that comes with navigating sexuality when you don’t even know what you want from yourself or your relationships yet,” Flynn said. 

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This, as well as many other thought-provoking pieces, are lined along the gallery walls with a variety of mixed media. From fabric painting to photography, the exhibit includes art of all kinds and promotes the creativity of each individual.

Photographer and UW senior Audrey O’Neill is another artist whose art is featured in the gallery. She is studying photography and minoring in French. O’Neill said she has done photography since her freshman year of high school, but she has been interested in art her whole life and takes inspiration from loved ones. 

“My grandma was an art teacher and growing up she always encouraged me to use art as a vehicle for self-expression,” O’Neill said. 

Three of her cyanotype pieces are in the gallery titled “Je suis à toi,” which translates to “I’m yours” in French. They are a series of prints made by layering digital negatives atop each other, and the pieces reflect how mental health affects the way she views the world. 

“I found immense comfort in creating images that reflected how I felt at the time — lost, hurt and desperate to find meaning amidst hardship,” O’Neill said. 

WUD Art Director Kaden Buck, said this art exhibit is the primary way WUD celebrates student art accomplishments. 

Feb. 10, artists were able to invite their friends and family to join them in the celebration of their work at the opening ceremony and enjoy that special moment together while also celebrating the art and accomplishments of each other.

The WUD accepts submissions for the gallery at the beginning of every year, and it’s open for anyone and everyone to apply, even those who do art as simply just a hobby. There were roughly 40 pieces submitted to the gallery and about 20 were selected. 

Jennifer Schaller has two pieces in the gallery — “Out of This World” and “Dragonfly Daydream.”

“I enjoy creating vibrant surreal landscapes, storybook drawings and portraits of people and animals,” Schaller said. “I love layering colors together and expressing different feelings within my art.”

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“Out of This World” is a visual representation of Schaller’s personal connection to herself, nature and the world beyond. There is a figure in the middle that blends into the surrounding flora and environments creating a unified image of her own world

Her other piece, “Dragonfly Daydream,” is a simple depiction of dragonflies around a lake that she finds nostalgic and comforting. 

“It takes me back to the various books I read growing up and being fascinated by the covers and what stories awaited me behind those covers,” Schaller said. 

The students are thankful for the opportunity to have art in the gallery and be part of WUD art. 

“I came into college thinking I didn’t want to study studio art, but I had time in my schedule and was missing art-making a lot,” Flynn said. ‘My major in art history is also a factor in why I make my own art. When I joined WUD Art and started to get involved with other artistic spaces to build community on campus, I realized I had made the right decision.”

The gallery is free of charge to attend and will remain open until March 10 at the Main Gallery and Class of 1925 Gallery located on the second floor of Memorial Union. 

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